Nemawashi (jap. digging around the roots) is one of pillars of Toyota production system. It refers to preparing for change. Before the change occurs in the company, workers should be preapared. Nemawashi is building consensus around the planned change.
All improtant people should be informed about the change before the official meeting. They should be prepared, not surprised. It helps to keep the face, which is very important in Japanese culture.
The original meaning refers to gardening. In order to prepare tree for transplant, gardener digs around it's root.
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- Mitsuko Saito (1982) Nemawashi: A Japanese Form of Interpersonal Communication, ETC: A Review of General Semantics, Vol. 39, No. 3